Anyone seen this? Not thinking of buying but interesting comments / discussions with Thes One and others check the website
How To Rap BookStarted 2 years ago by YoYoPo / toggle topic info
See, I don’t know if content is necessary ever, maybe, because some of my favorite rhymes of all time have had nothing to do with anything. It’s tough to say, man, I don’t think people can be a stickler for content—there’s too many classics that don’t have any content to them at all
There's a lot of truth there.
For what it's worth, my old production buddy used to say 'superficial and shallow, Steve'. 'Too many words just confuses people'. Last week there was something in mainstream press that said songs are more likely to get in the top 40 if they have simple repetitive lyrics/hooks.
I like a good story teller rapper (for me it's what it's all about. Social commentary or other first person narrative). I do accept that other people wants or preferences may differ. (They're wrong though ;-))
I totally agree that content isn't always necessary, but you gotta have something backing you up if you don't have content. Take Curren$y for instance, he's known for for only rapping about "fast cars and weed jars." But he also always has new and interesting beats to back him up, plus he's great at putting words together, so the rhyme itself is interesting even if the content is repetitive and/or shallow. And I think you could say the same thing about Biggie and Mac Dre - two other favorites of mine.
Here's a great lyric from Mac Dre's "Mafioso" (using a Godfather sample), "Sippin' Martini's/eating scampi and linguini/Makin' blunts disappear/like I'm Houdini." Fantastic rhyme! But no content.
On the other hand, being too heavily content driven can be cumbersome. Kendrick Lamar comes to mind. Not that I don't like him, but a little KL goes a long way IMO. KRS-One is also like that, though I do love BDP. And Atmosphere too, especially lately.
So really what I like, and I'm sure I've said this before, is balance. And I think The P does this very well. They have content driven songs and fun songs right next to each other. And it's all good. But if all their songs were one or the other, I'm sure I wouldn't like them nearly as much.
Though with PUTS, their production is always complex. So even their "shallow" songs aren't really shallow. I guess content can mean a lot of different things, it doesn't have to be just lyrical content.
I realize I'm contradicting myself a little. But as an adult, I find that anything that's too simple is annoying. There's a reason I don't watch reality TV or read Twilight books. And no one should be listening to top 40 music past the age of 15 anyway.
Now that I think about it, Mac Dre's "Mafioso" is a better example than I originally thought.
Mac Dre does two great verses, and in between Young Dru does possibly the shittiest rhyme ever recorded. Content-wise, the rhymes are all shallow. But one rapper is a master word-smith, and the other couldn't put two interesting words together if he were plagiarizing Shakespeare.
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